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review 2015-05-12 19:41
The Game Is Playing Your Kid by Dr. Joe Dilley

Out now! The Game is Playing Your Kid: How to Unplug and Reconnect in the Digital Age, by Dr. Joe Dilley. Dilley shares his profoundly effective three-step process that will facilitate your kids' transition away from overuse of technology and toward more responsible and mindful use, so they unplug from devices and reconnect with your family in organic, lasting ways.

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review 2015-01-22 00:00
In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age
In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age - Nev Schulman "when i was growing up, if you said something mean to someone, you'd either end up in the principal's office or facedown in the dirt, getting your ass kicked. but now kids can be as evil to one another as they want, and then simply turn off the computer and walk away."

so... weirdly enough, even though i've decided to give up on this book (at 44%,) this review is going to be a positive one. nev is clearly well-educated about the internet, both the good sides and the bad sides. as much as the internet offers us an infinite source of knowledge, it opens the door for bullying, harassment, stalking, and perhaps most infamously, lying. not just using fake photos but chopping a few years off your age and some pounds off your weight, or maybe adding a couple of inches to your height or aging yourself up a bit so you can fit in with the crowd you want to be in.

this book is written in an informative but compulsively readable voice. there's a lot of personal information about nev involved - his ethnicity, his struggles with mental illneses in the past, and some of his personal grievances with himself and the world around him. perhaps most importantly, it offers quite a bit of insight to the situation that the catfish documentary was about, and thankfully, it offers a lot of information about people we've seen in episodes of catfish, including some things that the episodes glossed over!

so why, if i'm leaving this book such a gleaming review, am i deciding that i don't want to finish it? simple: it's a bit repetitive. i feel like it makes its point and then continues to make its point over and over and over and over again. it could be argued that it's applied to different situations, circumstances, people, etc but the main message that i'm getting from this book is that everyone online is a liar, you are wrong/bad for any tiny fibs, and that you should never trust anyone. it isn't like fibbing/white lies started on the internet - they existed long before that, with people lying on the schoolyard about things that went on at home because their classmates would never know the difference, and vice versa to their parents/siblings. this book, to me, implies that the internet is at the heart of our bullying/suicide epidemic and the lies people tell and that's simply not true. stalking, bullying, all of the negative things that the internet undoubtedly fosters and offers a haven to were pre-existing parts of human nature. the internet may allow them to grow but it in no way causes it. to imply that it does takes away from the responsibility that people should have to take for their actions, their lies, their destructive ways; it's almost as if it's the new insanity plea in murder cases, although that analogy is, admittedly, extreme.

it does make a good point or two in the favor of saying that the internet and cellphones are exacerbating negativity and meanness in children by removing the human aspect and thus, numbing the empathy that they would feel in person, especially with this quote from comedian louis c.k.'s appearance on conan:
"i think [cell phones] are toxic, especially for kids... they don't look at people when they talk to them and they don't build empathy. you know, kids are mean, and it's 'cause they're trying it out. they look at a kid and they go, 'you're fat' and then they see the kid's face scrunch up and they go, ' oh, that doesn't feel good to make a person do that.' but they got to start with doing the mean thing. but when they write, 'you're fat', then they just go, 'mmm, that was fun, i like that."

overall, this book is good. nev is well-educated, well-versed, and most importantly, well-spoken. he's charismatic but flawed and all of his charm flows seamlessly into print, making him readable. it's just not for me, personally, because although i do think that meanness has become more rampant and inescapable since the introduction of the internet, it was always around. liars were always around. the internet has only offered a platform to these horrible, hurtful things and helped in their expansion; it has not created them. as much as i like nev and reading his inner thoughts, i do think he's slightly bitter and that it's created something of a bias when it comes to talking about the internet and the people on it.

this is just not the book for me, personally, because i found it very boring and repetitive after a certain amount of time; it's worth mentioning i'm also not much for nonfiction. however, i would also just like to say that i may be misinterpreting his message, because there are passages that imply he also thinks of the internet as simply a platform/enhancer for human kind's mean streaks, such as this:
"sure, most of the unpleasant things that people say online aren't going to cause someone to kill themselves, but all the negativity still has deep-rooted consequences. it's time to start holding people accountable for their online behavior."
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review 2014-08-24 00:30
Review: Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age 2nd Edition by Robin M. Kowalski
Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age by Kowalski, Robin M., Limber, Susan P., Agatston, Patricia W. [Wiley-Blackwell, 2012] (Paperback) 2nd Edition [Paperback] - Kowalski

Note: the review for this narrative is based on the 2nd edition of this book. I had a much longer review to write (unfortunately the power going out during a storm took the review before it could be saved), but I think the best reaction I could sum up this read - for me - was "Ye Gods, this book was very well done."

I picked up "Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age" by chance as a library read. I wanted to use it as a source for a blog post I was going to write on literary consumer/commercial criticism with respect to book reviews, social media outlets pertaining to books, and what doesn't constitute as "cyberbullying."

Dude, I don't think I've picked up very many books that spelled out the terms of what is and isn't cyberbullying as concisely and to the point as this narrative, and it does actively refute several stereotypes (I wanted to applaud the narrative alone for saying that despite the fact that cyberharassment and cyberstalking applies to adults, that they define it as a form of "cyberbullying"). It also proposes constructive solutions for cyberbullying with a focus on several measures - legal, social - with a focus and respect towards school aged children and an intricate examination of tools and terms in which cyberbullying takes place. I feel like this narrative covered its bases in a more neutral, adaptational tone than some other anti-bullying texts because it doesn't really affix a label as much as it discusses the matter as a series of problems, rationales, and solutions.

I definitely would recommend giving it a read, and I thought the authors did a fine job compiling and combining a mix of academic, social, and empathetic material to detail and define what cyberbullying is, where it occurs, to whom it occurs, and how we can deal with the ever growing problem it's becoming in our society.

Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.

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text 2014-07-12 01:52
Library haul - I need to start clearing these out....
Fiction First Aid - Raymond Obstfeld
Bullies, Bastards And Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction - Jessica Page Morrell
Cybersexualities: A Reader in Feminist Theory, Cyborgs and Cyberspace - Jenny Wolmark
The Bully Society: School Shootings and the Crisis of Bullying in America's Schools - Jessie Klein
Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction -
Roustabout: A Fiction - Michelle Chalfoun
How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection - David F. Dufty
Feedback: The Communication of Praise, Criticism, and Advice (Language As Social Action) - Robbie Sutton
Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age - Robin M. Kowalski,Susan P. Limber,Patricia W. Agatston

Had some of these for a while, and I'm going to try to tackle the ones that are due first.

 

I had checked out a bunch of materials on bullying, cyberbullying, and literary criticism/feedback a while back to write a post, but I ended up archiving it because I felt like it was saying some of the same things I'd already said in some capacities.  I still want to read some of these books though as food for thought, so I'll let you guys know how they go.  They seem like very interesting reads. 

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review 2014-05-14 19:31
Very modern romance
Face Time (Love in the Digital Age) - S. J. Pajonas

Face Time- S.J. Pajonas
Series: Love in the Digital Age #1
Published by: Onigri Press, on 25 April 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: ARC Author
4 Stars

After the best first date ever, Lee thought Laura was funny, intelligent, and impulsive; a whirlwind of bright laughter and happiness. Laura loved Lee's sweet smile and the way he expertly filled in every awkward pause. He held her hand and then pulled her in for the most perfect kiss she’s had in years. What could possibly be wrong? Just the 7000 miles that separates them the next day.

Even though Lee has gone home to Seoul, Laura can't stop thinking about him. What starts as an innocent text thanking him for their dinner date becomes something much more: someone either of them can't live without. But Laura's got a live-in mother going through a midlife crisis, and Lee's stressful traveling schedule means they'll be apart for some time. Life, family, and a complicated past also get in the way, and they're both going to need actual face time to figure it out.

*I received a free ARC of Face Time in exchange of an honest review*

 

Face Time is a very sweet, albeit a little improbable, contemporary romance novel. Laura and Lee meet by chance in the bar where she usually goes with friends every Thursday night, only this Thursday, she’s been stood up. Lee is only in New York for a couple of days on business, but they hit it off straight away. They go out for dinner on the next evening, and after sharing the hottest of first kisses ever, they say goodbye after having exchanged all important information.

 

The way they stay in touch is by text messages and face time, and even with Lee in South Korea and Laura in New York, they are able to talk several times per week, and they soon realize they have many things in common. They both have very difficult families, and can’t even trust their own mothers. Especially Laura, who traveled across Asia after college, has a lot of hidden secrets from that time of her life, and as the two of them grow closer, she figures she needs to tell him everything – all the sleeping around, becoming pregnant, and terminating the pregnancy – even if it happened ten years ago. Laura’s latest boyfriend actually left her over that, when her mommy dearest told him.

 

Lee is of Korean heritage, and his mom wants him to marry someone from their community. When he has finally been able to detach himself from Sandra, daughter of his parents friends, he finally realizes he doesn’t want someone like her. He is all for Laura, her adventurous mind and quirky humor. I didn’t mind so much that Face Time featured a long distance relationship, especially because Laura and Lee met before they started talking online and knew there was an actual attraction between them, however, the plot was a little bit convoluted at times, especially with both of their mothers.

 

I enjoyed how both Lee and Laura came to realize the reason why their past relationships had never worked, and that this helped them see that their relationship just might be worth the trouble it was to keep in touch through face time and text messages, and planning to see each other again soon. I also loved that they were so supportive of each other – they both needed to have someone on their side, as apart from a few good friends, they really didn’t have anyone they could count on to always have their backs. And I think that the fact that people can see each other when they use face time helps to get to know each other better.

 

If you are looking for a different kind of contemporary romance, Face Time just might be the book for you! Sometimes, their whole messages are included in between the narration, and it’s cute – because that’s how a lot of people stay in touch these days, even if they don’t live across the world from each other. I will definitely check out the next book in the Love in the Digital Age series, because I got to travel to several places, and they were all vividly described through the eyes of the character that was actually there. Written in dual point of view, the readers get to know both Lee and Laura quite well, even if the book is not very long.

 

 The kiss goes all in, a deep inhale followed by the kind of release that makes my eyes roll back in my head.

 

The hidden gems are all out in the open thanks to the internet, and anything that was once a weel-kept secret is now a whore for attention.

 

Laura pulls her hair out of the elastic its tied in and runs her fingers through her long, dark hair a few times. “Well, I love romance. It’s a dying art. You should be with someone who will appreciate your gestures, Lee.”

 

He lives in Seoul. Fuck, he lives in Seoul. I pause and examine myself in the mirror. Why do I fall for the unavailable ones?

Lexxie signature (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/review-face-time-love-digital-age-1-s-j-pajonas
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